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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 18, 2014 1:00am-3:01am EST

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series of things that we are doing to strengthen our preparedness against ebola. shaming and monitoring of travelers when they leave affected countries and when they arrive in the u.s.. their temperature is taking. they are provided a care package. that care package has a thermometer, a fever log, health information, a number to call if they get sick. over the last couple of weeks, at least four people have gotten sick. they have taken their temperature, they have called that number. the state health department has arranged for safe transfer order
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of the individual from where they are to a hospital ready and waiting for them. they were cared for safely in that system. yesterday, we notified people that starting today, we will be doing that same kind of active monitoring for everyone who arrives in mali. not because we believe there is widespread transmission but because there are so many contacts there and we are not yet confident that they are all being identified and monitored daily. if one comes here, we don't want to take the risk that they may become ill and the health care system would not be aware of it. we don't know that we have the perfect response but like everything in public health, everything for clinical medicine, everything in science, we use data to continuously improve practices. that is the approach we will take. we work with the health care system to strengthen control. they have visited three dozen hospitals all over the country and a dozen states to assess the ready. they provided the tests for ebola. usually only the cbc is can you test in the u.s.
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now they're only 30 that can. this will very closely. in the emergency budget request,, this is divided into the one hand, immediate and on the other hand, contingency. the immediate request is divided into three parts, domestic, ebola, and a broader global health security component. for the aspects of that request, it is $1.83 billion. ebola specific work in west africa and global health security work. this is absolutely critical. we have $30 million stopgap funding and expires on december 11.
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that money is all committed. it allows us to keep going at the level at which we are going but not to scale up and ramp up. we can't with confidence say, we can prevent the next outbreak.
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global health security is something we have been working on for some time and our home framework has clear parallels with the ebola work. there is tremendous synergy between preparing for ebola and preparing for other health threats. i think it would be a responsible of us some scarce dollars. this is prevention to the case of ebola. now, before closing, there is closing about just ebola.
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ebola has been pretty all-consuming for all of us. we take the sample itself, this view them, or we can look into that sample. we don't know what is going to come out of this. we can think rapid diagnostics of infection, of drug resistance, perhaps identify the strengths ready more. this might change the way we understand current infections. there might be multiple infections. this might not be someone making someone the sickest.
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that is all interesting theoretically. it means that we can save lives, money, time. we can cut time out of the detection and make outbreak smaller. that is a promise but we need to continue to invest in it. this is where we had dozens of laboratory another disease, there was an outbreak, it turns out there was multiple different. once sequencing machine can create enough data to overload 100 computers. the amount of data is mind-boggling. we think that over the five years, this initiative will transform the way we do genetic epidemiology for some of our conditions and we are able to identify things sooner, finding,
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diagnostics that can make a diagnosis in a shorter time, helping states implementing sustainable systems and developing more predictive modeling measures. new technologies don't take the place of careful analytic work. they may point in a direction where we can be more fruitful but we don't take the place of that really thoughtful complicated work.
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in the u.s., and globally, we are seeing an annex herbal rise. there were more than 2 million drug resistance in the u.s. this we're even conservative estimate. this was an infectious disease. i treated patients for whom there are no modern medicine. it is a horrible and helpless feeling for physicians, patients, and for families.
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it reflects the fact that for some patients and some organisms, we are not in the pre-antibiotic era, we are in a post-antibiotic era. unless we take urgent action, a greater proportion of infections will be difficult if not impossible to treat with modern medicine and it is not just about treatment of infections. routine infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections might become very difficult to treat.
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we are tracking one particular organism and that organism can be resistant to all antibiotics and currently this mostly in hospitals. it spreads out to the committee, then routine urinary tract infections have become extremely difficult. treatment of infections has become an integral part of monaco medical care whether it is cancer, chemotherapy, the treatment of arthritis, joint replacement, complex surgery, dialysis.
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all of these things depend on the ability to rescue patients when their immune system is low. 600,000 americans will get cancer chemotherapy this year. about 60,000 of them will be infected, will be hospitalized with a serious infection that is a complication of their chemotherapy. one of 14 may died. the more resistant organisms we get, the higher the proportion, the greater the risk of cancer treatment. that is just one example. we have identified seven particular threats. there are others. we think that we can actually substantially reduce the burden of these risks. you will see this is quite familiar. detection, response, innovation for new diagnostics and new treatments. we have a proposal. to accelerate the detection and response to drug resistant infections and to improve prevention and an antibiotic prescribing. we think between a third and a half of use is either unnecessary in the first place or are inappropriately broad spectrum. we have a long way to go. we can begin to address the gaps that can reverse drug resistance. in fact, we think we can make significant progress, we think we can cut this by 50% through the five years and that is not just a guess, that is what the best performing systems have
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done. that is what other countries have done. we know how to do it. we estimate that if we have this kind of multi sector intervention, over five years we can prevent 600,000 multi drug resistant infections and over 37,000 deaths. news are two lines, if we keep going with we have always gone, if we implement aggressively and intensively. it requires commitment, leadership, tracking. we now recommend that every hospital has an antimicrobial stewardship program. we think it has tremendous benefits for the facilities. it saves money and it saves lives. the national healthcare safety network now includes virtually
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every hospital in the country, plus titles as facilities and outpatient facilities. we have had a very productive collaboration with the center for medicare and medicaid services to use this information to feedback to hospitals and encourage rapid progress. antimicrobial resistance is a time bomb and we have got to stop it before it gets too late before the routine infections that we could all get tomorrow are not easily treatable. the pipeline is not full of new drugs. unless we use the antibiotic agents today, we could lose those as quickly as we have lost these. i think with that, i will stop and i look forward to taking any questions you have. >> i'm the head of aspen global health and development.
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we are honored you are with us. we have a packed house both here and outside, we have got to take the time to have a little bit of engaging with the audience. we have microphones. wait until the mike comes to you. >> i work in senator casey's office. i remember, this is the last briefing, you discussed ppe's and mass production as well as just hospital preparedness and
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staffing. can you refer describe how ready do you think these individual hospitals are all over america? >> i think you have to divide hospitals into several different groups. [laughter] there is a highly specialized group that might be able to care for someone with ebola. for those, they send an assessment team to see if they are ready and to help them get as ready as possible. any time there would be a suspected case, we send a team with control, environmental, waste issues to deal with the situation at the team actually went to bellevue before dr. spencer was diagnosed when he first was admitted and was ill. there's a specialized google hospitals that might be ready to deal with serious infectious disease such as ebola. there are hospitals that need to
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be ready to assess patients if they come in and may have an infectious disease such as ebola full dump we do expect that travelers from parts of the world that have had ebola outbreaks get sick, they will get flu, they did not take their malaria -- every hospital needs to be ready and thinking about what do i do have someone comes in and there might be concerned for ebola. that is why the cdc issued guidelines for emergency departments on what to do if someone comes in and that is why there is such appropriate interest in ensuring that we have training, drills, information for health care workers on the front lines. >> let me recognize secretary sebelius, thank you for joining us.
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i wonder if you want to make any comment at this point? we are really grateful you're here. >> i am an emergency physician in maryland. ebola has changed the way we do business. i work in several hospitals and one thing that struck me is the variety of approaches that each hospital has taken on how to prepare the employees for ebola. i have gone through protective equipment training and equipment i use, how i applied, how i remove it, how i cleanse afterwords is entirely different dependent on the facility. it is surprising to me that there is not more consistency. the second thing, i've been surprised by how available the
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cdc has been, there is a 20 far hotline and not intricately we call it with the patient with a fever in the middle of the night and how available they are. two hours is a response and people from the cdc will come in and screen his patients. it is very impressive. we cannot be everywhere. we can provide a information, consultation. there is not sufficient for every hospital. that is what every hospital should ensure. health care workers should practice, and practice, and practice so they are comfortable putting on and taking off the protective equipment. the second is the putting on and taking off, particularly taking off of protective equipment these to be particle eyes to, routinized in a very standard way so that a trained observer is watching, guiding, and providing a checklist as each step is undertaken so that it is done with consistency, not because ebola is so terribly infectious because the stakes are so high.
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it is very important to have an ebola patient. all of those were critical control points. everything done to minimize the risk of infection.
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>> thank you very much. i'm a professor of medical ethics and public health law. a very prominent ethicist published an article questioning whether individual hospital should performs cpr on ebola patients. when ebola patients come in, that they are halves automatically be categorized as do not resuscitate patients. i'm wondering if you have any comments? obviously, everyone in the hospital are struggling with this idea.
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>> you have to go back to first principles. we can want to get the risk of ebola to zero in the u.s. the only way we are going to do that is by controlling it at the source in africa. we will not have to face that kind of very difficult dilemma. if we don't control it at the source and it spreads. we might have a real challenge. when patients who may have ebola are admitted, we can rapidly treat them appropriately. we have patients severely ill with ebola. as you know, to them have died, one today, despite maximal treatment. we have had patients who survive with very intensive support. including kidney replacement therapy, including mechanical ventilation, including very
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substantial support. we want to provide that best possible care in the safest possible way. >> two questions. as you know, medical countermeasure development and production is in high gear. what role do you see any successful candidates that are fielded in the current outbreak or do you see any outbreak finally been solved through the traditional health measures you described? i'm a veterinarian and i'm interested in your opinion on an issue that those of us that her policy-minded that are discussing now which is the relative lack of attention being paid to the potential -- nature
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of ebola not to mention other infectious diseases. >> in terms of technological intervention, we have the potential to have some that are important in the current outbreak. they can't promise that, we can't count on them, we have to assume they won't be there and maximize our current tools. the one that may be closest within reach although you can't predict the future are rapid diagnostics. there are at least a half-dozen companies fairly far along. the navy has a product that is encouraging. we might be able to do a test in the field at the point of care and have results within a half hour to an hour. we have a good test for ebola but it is a real-time pcr. it requires a laboratory that is
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highly specialized. we have been very creative with mobile labs. that is a far cry from being able to hike for hours to a diamond mine and take out something from your pocket they could determine if it is ebola. i am guardedly optimistic that in a few months we may have something that works well enough to be used in the field. it may not be as sensitive as a real-time pcr, but even if it had a slightly lower or moderately low sensitivity it would be very useful. it would be helpful for the management of outbreaks. diagnostic tests for symptomatic infection at the point of care i
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think can be brought to bear in the current outbreak. second is a vaccine. we have two vaccine candidates, both of them work well in animal models. we are now assessing implementation of two different clinical trials of vaccine. nih has the lead on one, most likely to be used in liberia, which will be a randomized clinical trial. the cdc has the lead on the other, most likely used in sierra leone, an adaptive trial. the step which can get the answer quicker. a randomized controlled trial may be more difficult to do. i think these are two very complementary approaches and i hope we will be able to find effectiveness and one by the middle of next year. we are also looking at therapeutic's and what are some things that can be done to improve outcomes. i think it is important to think of them in the setting where
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most of the patients are treated. getting those settings upgraded and provided with federal care as rapidly as possible. >> let me take a moment to ask a question -- i see one in the back. >> i'm curious to piggyback on that conversation. if and when we do get a viable vaccine, what actions and thoughts is the government putting in to actually getting that manufacturing out at a
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large scale so it can have an impact? >> barda, bringing new technological advantages to the field, is working very actively on this issue, as is the defense department. if we had a vaccine, if it were effective, we would consider using it in at least two different contexts. one would be providing for health care workers so they would have a reduced risk of infection. the second would be vaccinating and clusters, to stop the spread in individual areas. our staff has been working for many months in liberia. in many ways, the response reminds them of other outbreak response is where you are seeing many bushfires. get to each one of them and cool it down and control it and save lives and prevent others. but we don't know that. early on in vaccine work, the things that are promising -- we just don't know what role vaccine will have and that is why the trials are so critically
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important. we are trying to get them off the ground as fast as humanly possible and we have been very encouraged by the reception we are giving in sierra leone and liberia. they are committed to moving fast and forward just as quickly as possible. >> let me take a moment to ask you about health workforce. i think -- perhaps many are shocked by the lack of capacity in countries like liberia and sierra leone. secretary sebelius is aware of the practice around health worker migration. frankly, they are very under resourced. tony blair was working in sierra leone for almost seven years very intensively with the ministry of health, yet the capacity is not there. the level and density -- do you think this crisis has woken up the world to the need to move
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more resources toward that, and what is the cdc doing in that regard? >> i hope it wakes the world of. i hope we get commitment from congress over the coming months to support the kind of efforts that we want to do it the cdc. we have a parameter model. at the most basic level, we can get any health worker to recognize and report illnesses, infections, ebola, or other and it will get more accurate information in a more timely way. at the middle level we can train over a several month. people who were working at the district or county level so they can understand those reports that are coming in and take action based on the. -- on the highest level. each of the three countries in west africa, particularly sierra leone and liberia, not only started out with fewer health care professionals per capita and it very underdeveloped
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public-health system, but it has also suffered through the deaths of hundreds of doctors and nurses from ebola. they are greatly challenged and they are responding, understanding that we are not going to have as many doctors and nurses as we wish. we are going to continue to create them and train them and support them but we are going to need to use a wide range of health workers and upgrade their skills so they can respond at the community level. >> would you mind standing? >> i am prompting you to talk about another of your favorite topics. you might talk a little bit about as a follow-up what you feel about the knowledge that
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everybody has about in country capacity and how helpful it might be to have some sort of global measurement so that as something happens from afar, at the world bank or w.h.o., we can say this country is equipped and this one clearly is an. >> global health security -- there are a clear set of capacities. does a country have syndromic surveillance? four things like viral hemorrhagic fever? does it have one trained epidemiologist for every 200,000 people? do they have an emergency operation center that can operate within two hours? these are noble things but they are not currently known systematically. we have now worked with a coalition of more than 30
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countries on the global health security agenda to agree on a set of action packages in each of the area in prevention, detection, response. to make sure we are putting into place assistance that can objectively monitor them independently. whether that is the world health organization or nongovernmental organization is not yet determined, but i think the world deserves to know if countries have systems in place. the world health organization has established the system, but it has not yet done this in the international health regulation area, which is so intimately related to global health security work. whether one of the areas -- that is, are we really tracking where ebola came from? this is one component of the global health security work, reducing the risk of spillover events from the animal kingdom
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to humans, and understanding. they have had for many years funding from congress to understand this better. we do some work in this area with our laboratory work. we send people in to a cave in uganda. i have been there. it has an enormous python in it. we know 10% of them are infected with the marburg virus. it is like ebola but it didn't have a movie. we had -- our staff went into this cave to sample the bats and try to understand the ecology of marburg virus in uganda. i said to them, weren't you scared? you have got this huge python, 10,000 bats, a lot of them have
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marburg. they said, but that scare us because we had our suits on. the python didn't scare us. what did scare us were the cobras. [laughter] there were cobras at the bottom of the cave. so we wore leather chaps up to our waist so if we had a cobra strike we wouldn't be killed. some of this work is a little challenging, but it is very important. we need to understand the cycle of how diseased spreads and we need to have some practical ways of addressing it. i spoke with the first lady of guinea in detail about this. she is from the forest region in guinea, which has been the epicenter of the outbreak. when the disease first emerged, either from contact with bats, but not for ebola -- or from bushmeat, from animals living in
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the forest and people who hunt and kill bushmeat may get infected. not so much in the consumption of bushmeat but as the hunting and cleaning. we still don't know what the source was here. even if we stopped this whole outbreak it could happen again in the next week if we don't find out how it happened this time. that is very important work. it is one of the critical components of the global health security work and it is why it is so important, that congress funds all three. not only the domestic preparedness, not only be stopping ebola and west africa, but the global health security work more broadly. >> we will take one more question. rachel?
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>> i was struck when you said that there are a lot of cdc workers who were being away from other projects to fight ebola. i was wondering whether on some level you saw this as a net loss, for these other infectious diseases that are happening, because attention is being taken away, or whether because there is increased infrastructure because of this. >> it is both, actually. we usually have about 20, 30 people working on ebola that today we have 850. the other 800 were doing other things before and that is another reason the supplemental request is so important, so that we can make sure we can do both -- that which we have to do, whether it is blue of m -- flue or mrsa or other infectious disease.
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the longer this goes on, the more challenging it is to keep all parts of the cdc protecting the public the way we are committed to doing. at the same time, the longer it goes on, the more we are able to build the capacities and west africa and u.s. and other countries that will be useful, not only for ebola, but for the next ebola or the next sars or the next mrsa or hiv. to leave you with one thought -- think of what a different place the world would be today if decades ago we had had basic surveillance systems in place, if we had recognized hiv when it first emerged and stopped it. even without a vaccine or treatment, contained it, and we wouldn't have had 30 million deaths. we have so much that we can benefit from this. the system that could have found
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and stopped this outbreak in west africa cost a tiny fraction of what the response is going to cost. it would be very unfortunate if we didn't at this moment vote to stop ebola and prevent this country from having vulnerability. also putting in place the laboratory, the disease, the response, that will find, stop, and prevent the next. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. we are so grateful for all you are doing. your message was very helpful. let me give a shout out to the wonderful health medicine and society team. we will be having two more in
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the spring and we will let you know as soon as they are announced. thank you very much for joining us today and thank you, dr. frieden, for joining us. >> on capitol hill tomorrow, a couple of congressional hearings looking at the people outbreak. in the morning, the head of doctors about borders testifies about the need for more trained health care workers to treat ebola patients. that is live from house foreign affairs subcommittee hearing at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. questionsieden takes about the u.s. and international response to the ebola virus. fromll have live coverage the oversight subcommittee at 1:00 p.m. eastern, also on c-span3.
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up next on c-span, epa administrator gina mccarthy takes questions about the administration's environmental policy. then, a report on disclosure procedures and criminal proceedings. comments for your about our programming. here are a few we received about "washington journal." journal," first thing in the morning, absolutely wonderful. very informative. i really appreciate you guys letting people such as myself actually call in, and sometimes even talk to people who are running our country. >> i would like to make a suggestion that instead of dividing the country between democrats, republicans, independents, c-span should ask
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a question and have colors either -- have callers either agree or disagree. this would save a lot of partisanship. idea, not the political divisions. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. the best show i have seen. this is what we need. please have more shows like the today, having a democrat and a republican on their sick people can ask them questions. this was a great show. we need to have them explain what their policies are and how they differ. thank you. their reasons were just like mine. we need to know how they vote and how we should vote. have one every day with their ideas, their policies, and what
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they plan to do for the people. have us call in and question them. thank you so much. abouttinue to let us know what you think of the programs you are watching. call us or email us. # send as a tweet @cspancomments. join the conversation. next, epa administrator gina mccarthy talks to reporters about the obama administration's environmental policy. she is asked if she thinks if the incoming congress will try to limit the epa. mccarthy spoke at a forum hosted by the christian science monitor. >> here we go. i'm from "the monitor." our guest this morning is gina mccarthy.
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her last visit with our group was in september, 2013. we thank her for being here. she graduated from the university of massachusetts with a degree in social anthropology. primitive cultures was a great training for government work. she went on to graduate with environmental health planning. she began her career in 1980. from there, she went on to positions of increasing influence of the environmental field, first in massachusetts where she got appointed by two governments who shared little else in common. she moved to slightly south in 2004 to become head of connecticut's epa. president obama nominated her to be the assistant administrator in 2009, where she earned the nickname the green quarterback.
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the administrator and her husband have three grown children. she is reported to relax in the evenings by reading government documents with "barefoot contessa" playing in the background. our thanks to marty durbin. as always, we are on the record. no live blogging were tweeting. no filing of any kind while the breakfast is underway. there is no embargo when the session ends. to help you resist them selfie urge we will e-mail several
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pictures of the session to our reporters here as soon as it ends. as regular attendees know, if you would like to ask a question, send me a subtle, nonthreatening signal. i will happily call on you in the time we have available. i will start off by offering our guest to make some opening comments and we will move to questions around the table. thanks again for doing this, we appreciate it. >> thanks very much. and thanks for coming and giving me the opportunity to talk for a few minutes and i am happy to take questions. let me just begin by saying that i assume that most of what is on your mind is going to be related to climate, in particular may be the china-u.s. joint announcement as well as a $3 billion dollar commitment to the climate fund.
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we can talk about other things as we move forward but the most important message i have is that the joint announcement between china and the u.s. was a historic announcement. it was a significant step forward, and i believe a lot of it is attributable to president obama possibly leadership on climate change, domestically and internationally. i think this step forward that the president took to put out a climate action plan really showed that the u.s. could be aggressive on climate change, but also make sure that it was being done reasonably and in concert with a growing economic climate. i think it sent a big, international signal, which was what it was intended. i think it was clear that the clean power plant it put out was also seen as a significant
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confirmation of the president's leadership, as well as our ability under existing law to move forward under the clean air act to regulate climate change in a significant way. in particular, with carbon pollution from the power sector. i think with growing confidence not only has the president shown leadership that he could deliver on those commitments, i think our work in resiliency and to understand the economic impacts of these efforts really showed up, that there was significant need for work with our communities to ensure that they are safe. in light of the climate impact we have seen, but also in the efforts underway like clean power plants and the methane strategy, that it would be to entirely consistent with a
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growing economy, additional job growth, continued investment in technology that would be consistent with a low carbon future, and also that it would spark innovation and send clear signals about where that investment could be made and where there would be significant opportunities, in particular for u.s. companies to take advantage of the change, that would result from realizing climate changes -- the joint agreement with china, i think is a clear indication that the president was very serious when he said it was about taking domestic action and about starting an international solution. these are the two largest economies. they are the two largest sources of carbon pollution. their ability to work together,
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which basically was a significant step forward, outlining with the president was doing with that climate action plan, as well as how china interprets its responsibility, was a big step forward. you will know that we believe the president's climate actions are going to be significant, but also achievable. i would indicate that the commitment of china is also a big step forward. if any of you have been involved in these climate discussions for any length of time as i have on many levels, you will i think appreciate the fact that china has never put an absolute reduction on the table. the commitment they have made, which is a 2030 commitment, really does require immediate action to make sure that commitment can be delivered.
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we do consider both of these commitments to be solid steps forward. it was a good signal for the international community, because with us and china and the eu it represents half of the budget in the whole world. it sends a big signal and i think you will see other countries wanting to take similar actions, which hopefully will lead to a sound and aggressive international commitment. with that, i think i should stop, other than to say that one of the great things about the china-u.s. joint commitment is the fact that it also represents an acknowledgment on the part of china that looking at carbon pollution and putting that in concert with what we are doing to develop our economies could
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help us spark investment internationally. the kind of technology that will drive toward the numbers we need to achieve. i can answer some questions on the $3 billion fund. i should introduce it by saying this was expected. this was a commitment that the u.s. was forming and shaping since copenhagen in 2009. we join a number of other countries that have already made commitments and we expect this commitment will spark significant additional efforts. we also think that this is going to be an opportunity for us to invest in a significant way in the kind of innovation and investment strategies we need to address climate change, and to get to the levels that are necessary. it also will provide us
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opportunities to work and some strategic areas that are in our national interests, and also deal with the resiliency challenges that we need to address, given that the climate has already changed. >> thank you. i will do one or two and then we will go to a few to start. you are obviously bullish on the china arrangement. there are critics who don't share your enthusiasm -- the senate majority leader said it requires the chinese to "do nothing for 16 years." "time" ran a piece saying that it is clear the announcement is not meant to create any new obligation, and left them plenty of room to step back if their
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pledges becoming convenient. what are your critics missing? is this as evanescent as they make it sound? >> i don't believe it is. i think it is as significant as i make it sound. i don't know if anybody has looked at the numbers and has looked at the way in which china has been relying on coal as a part of their growth strategy. it is clearly a signal that they needed to make significant economic changes in the structure of how they look at their economy, and it will require significant investment in zero carbon technology. it is going to result in the -- in immediate shift in how they look at continuing to grow the economy. without this commitment, which
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is that no later than 2030, their commitment to look at earlier dates is significant. if you look at just how much renewables they need to actually construct as a result of this, we are talking about on the order of the entire generation capacity. this is a big change that requires a lot of action now to turn this lagging economy around, and that can't be done on a dime but it needs to be done right away. >> the good folks at the "louisville courier-journal" had an interview with the majority leader. the sense was that there was a war on coal and that now he is going to run a war on obama.
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one avenue would be the spending process. fight the white house any way they can. urw vulnerable -- yo predecessor said, i think what they are going to do is start the agency. i question is, how vulnerable do you feel the epa is to a star of the agency strategy -- starve strategy? >> i am confident that the american people understand the value of the epa. plusconfident that for 40 years we have been able to do our job and grow the economy. i feel confident that we have republican administrators that testified before that very committee. just this past year. about theirstrong cry for immediate action on climate change. the epa has been --
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not been a partisan agency. it has been an agency that has protect part to public health and the environment. i do not believe the american public wants to see us not do that. >> at these had conversations with senator mcconnell in recent days on this? >> not in recent days, but certainly we have met before. i certainly respect his position. but i think the american public will speak. >> mark? >> analysts are looking at the u.s. commitment and china. they say it will not get us there. will need to recognize methane. do you think that is the case and is there anything else that needs to happen? >> you may recall that we
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actually do regulate volatile organic compounds. the question is how do we continue to get those reductions? to do that, you capture methane. we have put out some papers exploring this will stop the president called on a methane reduction strategy to be developed. we are working on that with the rest of the administration. it is not just about what the epa can do but where we see in missions of methane that are regularly reduced and can be done cost-effectively and with certainty. we are looking at both actionson and voluntary and commitments of the business community as opportunities for reduction that will be coming out with a plan.
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we feel like we can make significant cost-effective reductions. >> i will ask a non-climate question. two decades ago, almost exactly, epa tried to promulgate a ban on asbestos. since then, congress has tried several times to legislate a band. now with congress the way it's going to be, is it a situation where you think the epa can take administrative action independent of congress, to do something about the fact that 10,000 people a year are dying of asbestos related disease? we know we are a dressing this with old disposal sites. the challenger raises more
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whether or not we have the systemic tools we need to get at this issue and others. for my perspective, this is not the strongest batch it we have available to us. we have shown that time and time again. we are being as creative as we can in terms of looking at what our opportunities are to address toxic substances and pesticides and other issues, but a closer look would be welcome. there was an active interest in doing that and i hope there continues to be. [indiscernible] >> republicans have made clear they plan to load of appropriations bills with riders [indiscernible]
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and maybe not necessarily climate related, but are you prepared to negotiate with republicans on these issues? do you think you and the president are going to stand your ground on these things are do you see room for compromise on any of this? >> i feel very confident that the president has the best interest of the epa in mind and he has made very clear what his priorities are. so i feel like we are on very solid ground in recognizing that there may be challenges ahead, but that the president will do the right thing. and he has made those interests clear. the other point i would just like to make on top of that, and
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while there is a lot of discussion and things in the press and statements made, the president has been very clear that he is supporting this agency. i feel very well supported in everything that i am doing. he knows we are working hard to make sure that what we do is right, to protect public health and the environment and that we do it and appropriate way and away in which we can continue to grow the economy. the most important thing i want people to know is that the people that we regulate, and our stakeholders, are paying very close attention to what epa is doing. they are sitting at the table with their sleeves rolled up. there is no one banking on us getting stopped. they are acknowledging and understanding that if epa does its job well, they should be at the table working with us to make sure that their interests are heard him and that is clearly happening. so even with lots of rhetoric, the work continues, and it
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continues with the stakeholders at the table. >> you've got a tough job. you talk about global warming and climate change. there've been some reports in the last year from the likes of henry paulson and his successor in the treasury. calculating the economic impact of global climate change and global warming, saying that if there was a 3% increase in temperatures, rather than the 2% increase, which is legitimate, the cost globally would be a 1% reduction in global economic output. i wonder if you think that's a reasonable estimate, and why should people who terribly nervous about a 1% economic output dropped globally?
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>> actually, i do have a difficult job, but i would rather be doing nothing else, to be very honest with you. this is where i want to be, and i think it's because this is a work across the administration. one of the reasons why i wanted to say that is that we have had a lot of opportunity to have the economic representatives of this administration speak to climate change and the need for action. what they tried to do is talk about the discussions, the facts and figures you are raising, but also talk about the cost of climate inaction. when you compare the two, you will see that actions have to be taken, and if you take a look at the actions we are taking, you will see that they are moving in the direction in which the energy world is moving in this country, in which is toward a lower carbon future.
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you will see that we are doing it in a way that will actually spur economic investment, spur economic growth, and grow jobs. now, epa and myself are best left to how we evaluate that honor rule by rule basis, but the president will clearly listen to his economic advisers on how dangerous it is to think that if we do nothing on climate, we will have picked the most economic strategy moving forward. it's clearly not the way to go. >> this is sort of a seasonal, topical question based on an industry in my state. we produce a lot of turkeys that are going to be on tables in the next 10 days. as you know, they've been involved in the renewable fuel standards fight. they for trade themselves as losers because their largest
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input is corn. do you recognize there are losers in the base system, and how to industries like that go forward in dealing with what you are doing, if that is the case? >> epa's job is not to pick winners and losers. is to look at what the economic impacts are of our rules, but also to implement the law that was handed to us and to implement our regulations in a fair and consistent way. if you look at the renewable fuel standard, i know everybody is anxiously awaiting epa's final rule on 2014, but we move forward with that rule in the same way we do every other rule. we looked at what the law said, we looked at what the regulations require, and even-handedly try to provide the best impact analysis we can so everybody understands where that
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rule is heading. if you look at the renewable fuel output this year, it has been pretty robust. i can say that without having to project much, because they are in mid-november. while i would have preferred to have this rule done earlier, it hasn't slowed down that industry, that i can see. we will continue to have a commitment to moving renewable fuels out and getting that rule done, because renewable fuels are part of a low carbon strategy and we want to continue to promote those. >> i just wanted to talk a little bit about the u.s. climate deal. you said this bottom-up approach [indiscernible] technically feasible and politically feasible are two different things. you already have the clean power plan out there as a draft. is there any sense that you might have to go for even more aggressive targets in that
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proposal to achieve what you're looking to do in the 2020-2025 time frame when you already have just two years left with this administration? >> that's a good question. i wish more often technical and political analysis aligned. thankfully, i think in the clean power plan, it does. let me just clarify one thing, and that is that we are implementing the individual rules under the climate action plan i'm including the clean power plan, in a way that is consistent with the underlying rules. the way we would always do it, to try to achieve what is aggressive, that is intended under the statute, and to meet our mission, but also to do it in a way that is as smart as we could, meaning in the case of the clean power plan, it's going
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to be legally sound. it's going to look to achieve cost-effective reductions. it's going to look at how we define it mission reduction, how we estimate what those reductions will bring. so we are doing it in a consistent way in each and every rule, not in a way where were going to let what are in goal is on climate intervened in a way that is inappropriate. we are not shooting for outside targets. we are shooting for the targets that we are supposed to, under implementation of the current rules. >> when the water rule was put out in the spring, it was presented as kind of a noncontroversial tinkering with the guidelines in the standard. it engendered a pretty big backlash among most of the defenders of the ad economy.
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my question -- a couple of questions. first of all, were you surprised at this backlash from most sectors of the ag economy? the house has already presented a bill to effectively -- what will the administration's response be? will you recommend to the president that he veto those bills as they were the statement of administration policy when the house passed it? would you still recommend them? >> let me start by saying that i wasn't surprised by the backlash. i was surprised by the focus of it. let me explain. the clarification of the jurisdiction under the clean water act, which is what this rule represents, has been tried a few times before. let me explain. the clarification of the jurisdiction under the clean water act, which this represents, has been tried a few
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times before. one of the criticisms i was not prepared for was the criticism that we did no outreach before we put the rule out. we actually did a guidance document that went through extensive public comment, that included the very same science that underpins our proposed rule, that approaches it in exactly the same way, with very, very, very similar conclusions. the main comment there was, put this out in a rule. it deserves broader comment. i was surprised we were criticized for not actually taking public comment in a way that was open and engaging, because that is what this proposed rule was responding to, and i think we want to continue to be responsive to that public comment. the other thing to keep in mind is that we also actually tried to explain this rule in the best way we could. we did not try to minimize its impact. we tried to explain it. i think because we did what we call the interpretive rule, which was to expand on the expansions already in the current role, and expand the kind of actions where the agricultural community would not have to worry about jurisdictional issues -- that
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became a confusing issue out of the gate, as if we were limiting the exemptions of the agriculture. it became a communications challenge. the we are very confident that the comments we are receiving are consistent with the way in which we need to head, jurisdictional he -- jurisdictionally, and we will be able to get this over the finish line. we will continue to combat misconceptions of this rule and misconceptions about any idea that is beyond the historical jurisdiction of the clean water act. it is in no way doing that. >> we will go next to "the l.a. times." >> i wanted to ask you -- we have been talking a lot about how the gop might react, come january. right after the election, industry lobbyists -- cutting through the rhetoric was this
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idea there might be room for compromise on the power plan, what they keep referring to as a sort of tailoring of some provisions of it. with the clean power plan, given the feedback you have been getting on the building blocks or the pace of reductions at the front-end, do you see some wiggle room there? they were talking about maybe not going so fast in the beginning. now we have the climate pledge we have made in china. it actually requires us to go quite fast at the beginning. i guess it is two parts. is there room for tailoring some of the aspects of the clean power plan? what should we be doing it in light of the commitment the president has made? >> clearly, i think one of the reasons where we got off to a
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pretty good start on the clean power plan was the flexibility it offered. and the engagement we have done that solicited these types of comments, i also think that we have shown this industry, the utilities and the states, that epa does listen to comments. we actually do change from proposal to final on the basis of what we here in comments. the notice of availability that highlighted many of the issues you have identified is another clear signal we are listening. and we are not going to craft a final rule that is trying to achieve a certain level or a certain timing that is dictated by the climate goal that was recently released by the president. it will be dictated by what we have seen in the data, but the
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comments have said, what is the most reasonable and achievable but aggressive goal we can move towards here, and what does the data and the comments show us? we are not going to measure ourselves by those goals. those goals were set by a variety of actions, not just this one, and every rule has to stand on its own and be done the way it is supposed to be done. i think outside stakeholders know that we will be true to our obligation under the clean air act, limit our authority to that, and will listen really closely and make changes. >> jake gibson -- i'm sorry. >> i look forward to getting this over the finish line. >> i apologize. >> jake gibson. >> this impact not long after midterm elections could strike some as suspect timing, as it would coming from any other administration. you think the american people, when they headed to the polls
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earlier this month, might have had the right to know what the obama administration was intending to enact with the new epa regs? insofar as the president said his policies were on the ballot earlier this month, to what extent do you think the result should be interpreted as a rejection of the administration approach to the environment? >> first of all, i have -- i have no reason to believe that the timing of these announcements are anything other than the timing we were able to achieve. these discussions have been ongoing, and i welcome the availability to explain to the american public what the u.s. can do under our existing authority, moving forward. i do not know of any new
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regulations that epa that have been announced since the elections. >> there are a couple, like ozone and some others. >> those have been on the books. everybody has known about those, and i think most of you have written about those for a long time. i have not heard of any new announcements in that regard, unless i missed something. >> do the elections in any way speak to how the public feels about the administration's environmental policy? >> i will let you speak on that. >> "dallas morning news," back in the cheap seats. the vote tomorrow in the keystone pipeline -- i want to get a sense of the steps. that decision is not in your ballpark, but you could speak to maybe what you see the stakes environmentally, one way or the other. what dave asked you in the beginning -- i understand you are relying on the american people to support the goals that
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you have laid out. that specifically, with regard to the budget tool that congress has -- what capacity does the epa have to survive that kind of scrutiny? it is not going to be a bill that obama can veto. what kind of dialogue or strategy is there? >> let me hit the keystone issue first. i thank you for acknowledging that it is not in my wheelhouse. that is a good thing. you know, i cannot yet speak with entire certainty about the environmental impact, because part of the reason why we have not provided comment on a final draft is because we don't yet know where the exact layout of the pipeline is, because of the challenge in nebraska, which is what we are holding off before providing comment on that, and seeing where the final document
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is. on the budget, let me just, again, go back. you know, i feel very confident that the american people want the epa to continue to protect them and their family, and importantly their kids. i think that is a reason why the focus on climate change. that is a reason we are focused on other pollution standards. i also know that the american people are listening, even on climate, you know? when you survey folks, they are worried about climate change and they want us to do something. many of the recent polls show they actually like the work that epa is doing on this. and in particular, the clean power plan. i will hopefully let democracy work and recognize that the president is going to be working these issues, and that he has great faith in the work we are doing and will be supportive of us. >> dave shepperton, "the detroit news." >> after a four-year low, americans are shifting back to suv's.
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the fuel efficiency of the fleet has dropped dramatically in the last few months in terms of new vehicles sold. are you concerned this will impact meeting the 2025 standards? >> know, if you take a look at what has happened over the past year, which is how we look at these things, rather than month-to-month, i am not sure what the general fluctuation is. you will see that we have been really -- we are really seeing significant efficiency improvements all across the fleet. and i think the most important thing to remember is that our fuel efficiency standards allow more suv's and trucks, that some are less efficient than others because of the way in which we designed the standards. i expect that we will continue to have more and more fuel-efficient vehicles, and people will still want them. everything i have read indicates that fuel efficiency remains the number one characteristic of what people look for in a new vehicle.
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so while there may be some that see a need in the winter to take a look at suv's, there will be many others who are looking for those fuel-efficient vehicles. thankfully, our domestic car companies are doing well by selling them. >> you announced a $300 million fine to hyndai and kia for not reporting proper vehicle sticker labels. do you think a system is in place that you can prevent this from happening in the future? and he you think other auto companies lost sales or were hurt by the misleading numbers? >> first of all, i think we were pleased that the existing system actually caught this. this was our own initiative, our own audit, that realized these numbers did not quite add up. the reason why hyndai/kia was the specific example of one that we wanted to make sure to highlight was because it was particularly egregious and
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systemic. it does send a signal. the reason for the high fine is because we thought they did have an economic advantage in the market because they advertised over 40 mpg cars that simply did not achieve that. we are doing our best to make sure we treat car pollution the same as other pollutants. we are not going to just do rules, but we are going to implement them and get the pollution reduction we were supposed to get. that is what we are doing with hyndai/kia, and i think it sends a strong signal. >> we go to the back of the room, the brotherhood of the pink shirts, "the washington examiner." >> epa is on a tour to listen to stakeholders right now. a lot of european countries and beekeepers blame neonicotinoid pesticides for the disasters that seem to be hitting the bees. are you open to possibly
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considering a ban of these pesticides, and you share concerns that the the bee is in trouble? >> we share concerns in the decrease in the honeybee population. the president put out an executive order asking us to work together to make sure we understand the science, understand what is happening here, and take whatever appropriate steps are necessary. and we will do that. i think you will see there are a number of factors that need to be considered. a lot of this could be attributable to habitat loss, and much of it might be. we also have already put out different requirements for how you handle neonicotinoids that people are most concerned about, so we can make sure to build the proper distance and applications, so that any impact they have on the honeybee population is minimize what we look more directly at these issues. these issues are not off the table.
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we recognize a wonderful partnership between folks who care about honeybees and folks who like to use these pesticides to manage their crops. we have to make sure we get this right and focus on what the science and data shows us. >> "the wall street journal." >> on ozone, you said weeks ago there are a lot of ways to reduce the -- with a deadline coming up in a few days, will you release a stricter standard for ozone? some environmentalists are worried you are not willing to put the political calculus on ozone. with the methane rule, are you planning to make some sort of decision sometime this fall, by
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december 21? >> first of all, on ozone, there is -- i am going to put out a rule in the timeline that the court has dictated. i am doing that because it is not just required, but because it is essential for us to continue to look at what health-based standards are necessary so that we can do our job. i will not indicate what that decision is, other than to say it is going to be based on the science, and i will take close consideration of what our scientists have told us and advised us. and we will put a rule out that i think the presents that science. and it is not a political decision. it is a decision i have to make. i welcome moving these rules forward. the second issue is on the
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methane strategy. we will put something out. i do not know the exact timing of that. as i indicated before, it is an administrative line review and work product. we will make sure to get that done this fall. >> "the courier-journal." >> on friday, going to war with the president on coal. can you talk about what these policies will mean? the coal industry think they are ultimately doomed, perhaps not only under your policies, but in the long term. would you respond to that? and where is the avenue for detente in this so-called war on coal? what active steps can you take to try to reduce the rhetoric and maybe produce something that would be seen as productive?
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>> first of all, we have had this "war on coal" scenario coming up for a long time. i think it is important to remember that regardless of where it epa is in its rulemaking, the energy world is in a transition. and i think a lot of that is attributable to inexpensive natural gas. and that technology continues to develop, and makes more natural gas resources available. and so there is a changing world here, and we have always looked at the direction that that world is heading. and so that we can understand the economic impacts of our rules. and i would suggest that the rules there was the most concerned about -- the first was the american air toxic standard. the question was whether that was going to -- whether every change in the energy rule was attributable to that rule. we put that rule out.
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it is going well. it is not impacting the liability. it is following the direction the energy world is heading, because that is what we are supposed to do. that is how we look at costs and benefits. the same with the clean power plants. i would suggest we are following the way in which the energy world is actually developing, and we are doing the things necessary to protect public health and the environment. it is not specifically targeted at coal. and because coal can continue to survive, we expect it to. we expect it to remain a part of the energy mix. we have specifically looked at the coal states and where they are, and we have made a goal for them, set a standard for them, that we think is reasonable and achievable for them, and not asked them to look like or feel like any other place. we have done the best we could to set a stage for good discussion with those states. we have frankly been having good discussion with them. it is not a case where they
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refuse to come to the table or do not think there is a place for them in looking at and talking about the proposal, and what we need to do to get it finalized, the custom they are active and interested in working with us. we try to send as much of a signal as we can that coal is a part of the mix and will remain so. the great interest of china in stepping up to the plate now may signal that they have great interest in looking at things like carbon capture sequestration as well. you may see innovation that we believe is available to us today become even more readily available and cost-effective, with these types of international agreements. >> robert schlesinger, "u.s. news." >> you mentioned the american people are listening on climate change. it never reaches the upper echelons of issues that people vote on, such as the economy. given the scope of the problem,
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why do you think people are not -- they may be listening, but are not acting on it. what can you or politicians do to change that? >> what i am trying to do is try to get people off the idea that acting responsibly on climate change is in some way contrary to the country's economic goals. and remind them that there is no dichotomy between working hard for the environment and working hard for the economy. and that particularly where climate is related, we have great opportunities to become more efficient, to switch to cleaner technologies, to grow a robust and growing renewable energy sector, and to use this as a way for the u.s. to become even more competitive internationally. and so i am hoping that people will not see the climate issue as simply an environmental
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issue, the closet is a fundamental choice about whether or not this country is investing and innovating in the future and the present, as opposed to the past. we have made an energy transition that i think is minimal for the kinds of reductions we are seeing, and really providing a backdrop for strong economic growth. >> "the hill"? >> sort of a two-parter. how can we as a country in force this agreement we just made with china, on china. china does not have the greatest record when it comes to following its international commitments. also, when it comes to agreements we might make in the next year, coming up to paris, the conference there -- how do we enforce those? do these hold the weight of international law, like a treaty? how do we enforce these?
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>> as far as i know, there have been no decisions made. there probably will not be until paris, for how you capture these international agreements, in what type of forum. the impacts in what way it becomes enforceable and legally binding. the u.s. feels very good about the joint announcement with china, because it not only represents a great step forward, but it also continues to represent a broadening of the u.s. and china relationship. and we don't go into a hole and wait until one another's says something a year from now. we have an ongoing dialogue with china. we have a climate workshop -- i am sorry, workgroup -- that actually gets together all the time. we have goals we set for one another and work through together.
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as you may guess, epa has a lot of opportunity to work with china. i think one of the reasons why china has really begun to step up on climate change is because of the broader demand they have for air pollution in general to be addressed. and as many of you may know, epa has been working hand-in-hand with folks in china on many levels, to try to provide them technical assistance and to help them monitor their air pollution. and if there is any example of what we can do together, and how it benefits the u.s. -- if you take a look at the technologies that are selling in china on air pollution, if you take a look at the monitoring equipment they just installed as a result of the push for better air pollution monitoring, those are all u.s. companies doing really good business. and so if we continue to align air pollution challenges with this climate challenge, i think
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both china and the u.s. see great value in that. and we will continue to do that, work hand-in-hand with them. >> thanks for doing this. you said a few times that you are not going to tailor the clean air act rules to the china agreement, but have come up with a fairly specific range of targets. does the white house already know what policies will be tapped to get to those targets? and what can you tell us about those policies? >> the white house and the interagency effort has been looking at what is reasonable to achieve under a variety of efforts on the climate action lan. they are also looking at what other rules and voluntary efforts might be appropriate to consider in this timeframe. they are also sort of taking a look at what other things we did not think about, which is what business is doing.
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i think one of the great events that we did over the past six months or so was working with the business community on hfc eductions. we had no sense that the business community was going to be as aggressive as it was in stepping up to the plate on their own, and dictating what they were doing as individual companies to move away from high global warming, ozone-depleting substances, and moving away. i think the u.n. conference in new york indicated significant interest on the part of this country's largest companies to step forward in saying, we are factoring the cost of carbon into our decisions -- why aren't government? there is a change in dynamics which gives us a better understanding of what we might be able to achieve by 2025 on the basis of the common action lan.
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no one rule is going to be the linchpin. it is going to have to be a combination of efforts between government, the business sector, states and local communities, and others who need to step up to the plate and contribute. >> about three minutes left. >> thanks for being here today. in the past, depending on which data you look at, there has been a slowdown, pause, or hiatus in global warming for the last 15-18 years. i was wondering if the epa factors that into its policies. recent studies say climate is less sensitive to co2 then maybe we thought in the 1990's. is that something you take into account the future rules? >> we work with the u.s. government to take a look at these factors, but i want to take a lot of time on that. that is a short-lived issue that does not represent climate on a longer-term basis, and it represents one factor, when there are so many others. most of which are looking like
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they are accelerating at levels we did not anticipate, as opposed to being more moderate. if you look at the entire science record, we are looking at all of those issues, but nothing tells us that we are being overly aggressive in understanding the actions we need to take, or the impacts of oing nothing on climate. >> thank you for doing this. e appreciate it. >> you are welcome. thanks, everybody. >> i apologize for the food. >> it was delicious.
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>> when the senate gavels back in, they will take up senator mary lan drew's bill on construction of the keystone xl pipeline. now a preview of the debate from a capitol hill reporter. >> whether it will take six hours and 60 votes but the senate tuesday will vote on keystone x.l. pipeline legislation. lauren gardner is covering the he debate in the senate. what's behind the senate taking up the keystone measure? >> well, obviously some political implications here on the line. senator landrieu of louisiana is in a very heated runoff race with congressman bill cassidy, a republican who is currently serving the house.
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and for senator landrieu, this is key to demonstrate she can legislate and hold her own on the floor of the senate even when they are leaders are not necessarily behind her and she wants another legislative win to take back home to louisiana and show voters she can get things done. >> what would the keystone bill do? >> the keystone bill would basically take the approval process away from the president and give it to congress. and it would just be in the pipeline approved and consider the environmental impact statement the statement department already issued as having fulfilled the requirements under an environmental policy law that has to be followed in order for a cross-border permit to be considered. >> let's look at the 60 votes needed in the senate to pass the measure. you said i am confident we will have the 60 votes to pass it . where does it stand now?
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> as it stands it appears he has 59 votes. last week senator carper and bennett pledged support for the bill. as of right now we have not found that 60th vote yet. but landrieu said they don't think she would have pushed this hard if she didn't have 60 votes. we will have to wait to see going into tonight and tomorrow. >> seems like a fair a pressure out there. you retweeted a modified tweet from the environmental activist saying a warning shot fired -- your words -- democratic leadership saying senator schumer marched in the climate march. if he votes for the kxl, he's never invited again. tell us what democrats are feeling. >> democrats in particular are feeling pressure from environmentalists who want to tie keystone to climate change and make the argument by allowing this pipeline to go forward it would exacerbate the
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level of greenhouse gas emissions the earth is already experiencing. for any democrat to want to be taken seriously on climate change now and in the future, there's a lot of pressure there. for senator schumer's part, his office said he's voting no against the pipeline. >> bill cassidy in the house last week got 31 democrats to vote for his measure. what happens to congressman cassidy's keystone measure if senator landrieu's passes? >> if senator landrieu's bill passes, the house bill by congressman cassidy will be considered passed. that's the actual bill that be will be sent to the president's desk. senator landrieu said it doesn't matter to her as long as the bill reaches the president's desk. >> back to the politics of this. you mentioned how this is playing in louisiana. here's the headline in "roll call" -- keystone dominates the senator runoff but does louisiana care? what's the story line behind that.
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>> there's been a lot made about this keystone vote for both candidates they want to be able to take home some kind of victory, however they're going to get it to the voters. but the question is do louisiana voters actually think this is a wedge? for senator landrieu in particular, a lot of her legislative victories she's touted on the campaign trail have had pretty direct impacts on louisiana citizens, for example, earlier this year when she successfully negotiated a delay to flood insurance premium increases, for example. >> it's a big issue to president obama as has the white house said whether or not the president will sign or veto the ill? >> they have been very -- they have not wanted say directly one way or another but president obama has repeatedly said while he's on foreign travel he wants the state department process and the separate supreme court process in nebraska to play out. so if he had his druthers, he wouldn't have a bell at his desk but they have not said one way or another if the state would issue a definitive veto hreat.
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>> readers can read more at and follow laura gardner at twitter. ardner-lm. thanks for that preview. >> thank you for having me. >> thanks for your comments about our programming and here are a few we received about "washington journal." >> i must say, "washington journal" first thing the morning, absolutely wonderful. very informative. i really appreciate you guys letting people such as myself actually call in and sometimes even talk to people who are running our country. and our world. >> i would like to make a suggestion that instead of dividing the country between democrats, republicans and independence, c-span should ask the question and have callers
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either call and agree or disagree. this would save a lot of partisanship. let the ideas get out there. not the political divisions. >> thank you. thank you. thank you. this morning, today. the best show i've seen. that's what we need. please have more shows like the one today. having a democrat and a republican on there so people can ask them questions about what they are going to do. this was a great show. we need to have them explain what the policies are and how they differ. their reasons were just like mine. we need to know how they think, how they vote and how we should vote and have one every day with their ideas, their policies and what they plan to do for the people. and have us call in and question them. thank you so much.
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>> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us. email us at comments at crmp or accepted us a tweet at c-span hash tag comments. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> 196 3, the u.s. supreme court ruled that suppression of evidence favorable to a defendant violates due process. up next a discussion on evidence disclosure procedures in criminal cases. we'll hear from a chief judge in the ninth circuit u.s. court of appeals. the national association of criminal defense lawyers hosted this event.
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>> i'm a trustee to have foundation for criminal justice, the f.c.j. the foundation for criminal justice are proud to have partnered with the initiative at the santa clara law school to produce a major research report addressing one of the major challenges facing the nation's criminal justice system. the need to ensure fair, full and timely disclosure of information favorable to an accused in a criminal action. let me begin we welcoming you and expressing the heart felt
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gratitude and the foundation for criminal justice for criminal justice and your interest in his important issue. no one wins when the process may contribute to the conviction of n innocent person. no one lives arbiters of the required standard of roof, guilt and a reasonable doubt by a jury of one's peers, are deprived of information that is favorable to the accused because all favorable information is relevant to the determination. the commitment of nacdo and the foundation for criminal justice to seek reform in the area fair disclosure is one of the many areas in which we are working to make our criminal justice system fairer and more humane across a ide range of issues. in recent months, we have worked to expand access to counsel,
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promote reform with the nation's indigent reform system, address ethnic and racial disparity in the criminal justice system, explore the impact of militarization of the nation's law enforcement infrastructure, rain in over criminalization and from out the restoration of rights and status for those who have had a brush with the riminal law. all of this is a reflection of the core mission of america's criminal defense bar, liberty's last champions as we define ourselves. fairness is a bedrock principle of any society and of any judicial system. the reforms, ensuring fairness, proposed, and material indifference are not ideals would are realizable actions that can and should be mployed. and so, i am proud to welcome you to join with us in the
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release of this important report. a report that we hope will lead to the vital reforms essential to ensure a fair trial for every accused person. now, to introduce the extraordinary speakers we have gathered for this event and to moderate the discussion, i am leased to invite nacdo's executive director to the odium. >> good afternoon and thanks for a much to our president, theodore simon, for the introduction and also for the support has been provided for this project by the foundation for criminal justice. arterial indifference, how courts are impeding fair disclosure, illuminates a problem that is widespread in
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the criminal justice system. to fully appreciate the importance of this report, we have assembled a distinguished panel including the authors, a prominent judge has recognized the problem, and a practicing attorney who understands the depth of the challenge and took steps to address it during his tenure at the justice department. before i call upon our panelists, i want to put the problem of fair disclosure in the real world conducts -- context of how america's kamal justice system actually works. in the nation's civil justice system, went individuals, companies, or entities bring lawsuits to seek compensation or four court order to enforce a right or prevent harm, our legal system provides for early, open, and complete disclosure. parties can and must provide access to witnesses, disclosure of all documents, opportunities for pretrial depositions, and interrogatories and more. in fact, the failure to provide full and fair disclosure in a civil proceeding, to ensure that there is no trial by ambush, can lead to very severe monetary and other sanctions. hroughout most of the country, in state and federal criminal cases, disclosure to the accused
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is minimal and highly limited. so we have a system that provides when what is at stake is usually a sum of money. there is full disclosure but when a person's reputation, liberty, or even, in some cases, his or her life hangs in the balance as it does in all come in all cases, discovery is very limited.
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this is extremely problematic for two reasons. first because prosecutors ring, and all charges at the time and place of their choosing, they do so after having fully investigated the case, including interviewing all potential witnesses. they controlled the tempo and timing of a -- arrested and -- indictment. they have exclusive control of the reports yet in most places prosecutors do not have to reveal the names of witnesses unless those witnesses testify. nor do they have to provide the accused with access to the investigative reports that were compiled during the investigation. even statements of testifying witnesses often do not have to be revealed until late in the process. sometimes on the eve of trial or when the witness testifies. accordingly, favorable information, that is information that tends to support lack of guilt of the accused or mitigate wrongdoing, or that which undermines the believability of witnesses and evidence that the prosecution will use to prove guilt is within the sole and exclusive control of prosecutors, unless and until they decide to provide it to the defense. another hallmark of the criminal justice system is that it is adversarial.
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prosecutors view cases through the prism of their own heories. prosecutors seek to win cases as they should. but that means we have a system in which the party that brings the charge and is zealously committed to a theory of prosecution must recognize information that undermines that theory and further, even though the prosecution has every incentive to win the case he or she must also decide whether and when to disclose the very information that may undermine
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the prosecution they are bringing. more than 50 years ago, the supreme court and the -- in the brady case held prosecutors must provide the helpful information that has been uncovered in law enforcement's investigation of the accused. failure to provide such information violates due process where the information withheld is material to guilt or punishment, irrespective of good or bad faith. that is a core aspect of a fair trial and will it should be. without that disclosure, it may never be known and there can be no confidence in the outcome of the case. more than 300 dna exonerations which have scientifically established the innocents of wrongfully convicted persons show that favorable evidence was withheld from the defense in an alarmingly high percentage of exonerations. but biological evidence that can definitively establish innocence is available in only a tiny, meniscal percentage of all criminal cases. most cases turn on the reliability or fallibility of human perception, the accuracy or inaccuracy of witness accounts, the truthfulness or falsity of testimony, all within the vast gray zone of interpretation and inference. thus in the majority of cases the disclosure of helpful information to the accused is necessary if the jury is to make
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an informed, fair, and accurate assessment of the case. too often, information does not disclose or too often when the accused learns of the helpful information it is too late to make a difference in how the case is presented or prepared or considered by a jury. while there are certainly many documented cases of prosecutors who have willfully withheld helpful information, that is not what this report addresses. the problem is far more pervasive and insidious and simply -- than simply a handful of bad apple prosecutors. there is an inherent tension between the adversarial system and the prosecutorial duty to disclose and that is why the courts have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring fair, prompt, and effective disclosure of information helpful to the accused and so the report we released today, material in different to is an analysis of how courts fulfill that critical function.
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am pleased to introduce our first speaker, one of the authors of the report, professor kathleen rudolphe. she is the professor of law at santa clara school of law and she is the founder of the innocence network, working to address wrongful conviction. another of her noteworthy works in this area was a report on which she was the lead researcher on a report on wrongful onviction. in 2010 she launched the veritas initiative committed to pursuing ata driven reform.
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nacdl and the foundation for criminal justice are proud to partner with veritas in slant declare and this project. am going to invite you appear -- up here to tell us about the project and how the courts are doing in ensuring fair disclosure in criminal cases. >> thank you. the fairness of the criminal trial depends on the ability of the accused to present a defense and of course to present a defense depends on the axis the criminal defendant has to favorable evidence that might exist in this case. the very fundamental nature of this principle was acknowledged by the u.s. supreme court 50 years ago when it decided a ase of brady vs. maryland. the court ruled the prosecutor has an obligation to disclose all favorable information that is material and a failure to do so violates the defendant's right to due process. the american bar association
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reinforced dispensable when it promulgated model rule three point -- 3.8d. that rule states that a prosecutors required to make timely disclosure of evidence that negates guilt or mitigates punishment. how is it that there are so many wrongful convictions that have been -- that are the result of at least in part prosecutors withholding favorable information? and conducting the study, we focused on three questions. first, to what extent are courts consistent in the use and application of the materiality standard when deciding brady clients -- claims question mark -- claims? and what -- to what extent is evidence be held from the defense? our focus was more on the courts than on prosecutors. we wanted to better understand
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the role that judges play in shaping disclosure or favorable information in criminal cases. a note on the methodology. we looked at five years of brady decisions litigated in federal court. that was 5500 cases. that includes the cases originating in state in federal court. we closely examined a stratified random sample of those cases, roughly 1500 decisions. from those, we identified 620 where the court's decision included an analysis of the rady plan. i want to point out the inherent limitations of the study. a brady claim is an allegation that a prosecutor has withheld favorable information. the question of the extent to which prosecutors are withholding favorable information is hardly possible to answer. brady violations involve hidden
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or withheld information and withheld information may never surface or become known. we can only view those cases where the withheld information is ultimately uncovered. for purposes of the study, we examined the available information and that body of information included or consisted of records and information. and the court issued a written opinion. those are the cases that form the basis of the study. keep in mind that written opinions almost exclusively are cases that went to trial. and we know that across the casesy no more than 5% of go to trial. so that means that we have no cases.tion on 95% of the this is important, because it means the evidence that we did
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the study in all probability is just the tip of the iceberg. mentioned a minute ago that the obligation the prosecutor , is derived from two sources. clause ofdue process the constitution as are tick ited by the supreme court in versus maryland and second the american bar association's rules of professional conduct. theseing to address separately beginning with the brady analysis. under brady, prosecutors are over allto turn favorable information that is material. the problem starts there. how do we define material. to decide whether something is to first you have decide whether it is relevant. havetermine relevance you to know the case, the whole case, and not just the case.ution's neary of the as justice stevens explains, quote, the significance much a piece of evidence can seldom be


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